Russia demands US visas for its officials
Russia has called on the US to immediately restore the normal issuance of visas to its officials, including diplomats and UN personnel, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on its website.
“For a long time we have been urging the Americans completely and without any preconditions to normalize the issuance of visas for officials,” the report states. The department noted that Russia is ready for this to happen at any time.
According to the report, despite repeated attempts by Moscow to restore the issuance of entry documents, the situation has only deteriorated.
“The situation has become absurd – visas are not being received by directors or experts from our departments to whom the Americans themselves sent official invitations,” the ministry stated.
This has resulted in the disruption of important negotiations and damage to the UN’s work, and it has become increasingly difficult for Russia’s diplomatic offices in the US to operate, the Russian ministry explained.
The Russian foreign policy department concluded that, if Moscow and Washington are unable to resolve the current matter, then Russia will attempt to have international events moved to countries with a more favorable political climate.
In September 2019, the US refused entry to the Russian delegation to the UN General Assembly. This was discovered only an hour before the delegation was to depart from Moscow. One month later, visas were denied to Russian diplomats wanting to attend the bilateral Dialog Fort-Ross forum in the US. At a later stage, another 18 Russian diplomats who were planning to take part in the UN General Assembly session were not issued entry documents.
At the end of December 2019, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova criticized UN Secretary General António Guterres for condoning the US’s non-issuance of visas to Russians.